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Libretto by Boris Blacher and Heinz von Cramer after the novel by Franz Kafka (G)

Scoring

S,M,4T,2Bar,small roles;
3(II,III=picc).2.2.2-4.3.3.1-timp.perc(2)-pft-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
17/08/1953
Salzburg
Oscar Fritz Schuh, director
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Company: Salzburger Festspiele

Roles

JOSEF K. Tenor
FRANZ Bass
WILLEM Baritone
THE GUARD Baritone
MRS. GRUBACH Soprano
FRÄULEIN BÜRSTNER Soprano
A PASSER-BY Baritone
A YOUTH Tenor
THE EXAMINING MAGISTRATE Baritone
THE WIFE OF THE COURT USHER Soprano
THE COURT USHER Bass
THE STUDENT Tenor
THE BRAWLER Bass
ALBERT K. Bass
LENI Soprano
THE INDUSTRIALIST Baritone
THREE GENTLEMEN 2 Tenors, Baritone
THE DEPUTY-DIRECTOR Tenor
an others
Some of the roles are dual roles; the soprano parts can be sung by one soprano
Time and Place

1919

Synopsis



The Trial recounts the story of the hero of Kafka's novel, Josef K., who is arrested one morning for reasons unknown. Until his trial, he is still allowed to go to work at first but he feels constantly followed and under surveillance. He is afraid and turns to others for help, for example, his neighbour in the next room, Fräulein Bürstner. Even when it emerges during the proceedings that there has been a mix-up, the trial is merely adjourned and a resumption of proceedings announced. Further visits to influential persons, who might allegedly be able to help him, are all failures. He meets a priest in the cathedral, who tells him that things don't look good for him. He has tried too often to obtain help from others, particularly from women. As the priest fades into the darkness, two hangmen appear, who lead Josef K. away to his execution.

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Literary, Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording

Max Lorenz/Peter Klein/Vienna State Opera Chorus/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Böhm
Orfeo d'or C393952I
Click here to purchase this CD from Amazon

 




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